Grazing in supermarkets

  interzone55 10:18 14 Dec 2007

There was a report on TV yesterday about supermarkets' losing around £220m a year due to customers eating food whilst wandering the aisles.

I've also just read a report in a security industry magazine that suggests that up to 2m people have deliberately not scanned some products through self service check outs. I don't believe this statistic - I doubt that 2m people have even used the self service checkouts - but I think they mean a large percentage of check out users.

Many excuses are given by offenders, mainly along the lines of "well they make enough profit they can cope with a few loses".

My concern here is that many people do not seem to be bothered about the fact that they are stealing from the supermarkets.

I was most shocked by the person who emailed BBC breakfast stating that he allowed his kids to eat crisps, chicken nuggets and sweets whilst in the supermarket. Whilst the fact that he is stealing this stuff is bad enough, what lesson is this teaching his children?

Am I right in being concerned about this rise in lawlessness, or am I over reacting.

  lisa02 10:42 14 Dec 2007

You should hear the stories my other half tells.

He works for a big food retailer and the amount of empty packaging littering the aisles is unbelievable. Deli ham that costs £3.99 a pack and cartons of fruit juice is favourite in store.

They caught some girl trying to walk out with a trolley full of shopping without paying 2 days ago.

  €dstowe 10:52 14 Dec 2007

I was in Tesco yesterday evening (intolerably loud and tinny seasonal jingles being blasted through the PA system).

In the wines & spirits aisles was a youth who had opened a bottle of whisky and was well on his way to emptying it down his throat. I called security as the guy was becoming abusive to other customers and I noticed on the shelves other bottles had been opened and partially consumed.

Never seen this before, is it common?

  laurie53 11:01 14 Dec 2007

I have, on occasion, taken something from a pack in the trolley (a nice crisp Melton Mowbray pork pie is difficult to resist it you're daft enough to go shopping when you need your lunch!) but I still make sure the pack goe sthrough the checkout.

If I want to try a grape or a plum or something I normally ask.

  GANDALF <|:-)> 11:01 14 Dec 2007

A self service checkout has a conveyor belt and it weighs each product, so it can tell if you put an item on there without scanning ;-)


  interzone55 11:44 14 Dec 2007

Asda self service checkouts don't have the conveyor - you put stuff in the bags next to the checkout, these do indeed weigh the stuff to make sure you've put only put scanned items in the bag, but I don't think they're sensitive enough to tell whether you've put one or two items in.

  oresome 11:47 14 Dec 2007

I don't condone either direction.

How many customers are in a position to, or do check their receipt at the supermarket? We have errors on probably 25% of our visits which wouldn't be discovered if it were a very large trolley load.

Sometimes these mistakes are due to offer signs not being taken down on time, (it's amazing sometimes how staff don't see signs the size of a house), others are due to the database not being set up correctly. Yet others by the product being scanned through the checkout twice or products stacked under the wrong sign.

One supermarket was nationally promoting 6 bottles of wine with a 25% discount recently. We only went for the wine and so it was obvious the discount was wrong when at the checkout, but we wouldn't have noticed with a full trolley load of groceries.

The supervisor admitted they were having a lot of problems with the wine how many had paid over the odds?

Of the supermarkets we visit, Morrisons seems to be the most accurate

I don't suppose the industry publishes figures for how much they net from over charging customers, but I bet it exceeds what's consumed on the premises by customers.

  interzone55 12:22 14 Dec 2007

you really think that supermarkets net over £200m from over charging?

  spuds 12:22 14 Dec 2007

I have no problem with the any person giving a drink from a container to young children, providing at the checkout, they produce the part emptied container for payment. What I do object to, is the person who blatantly uses a product then dumps the remains into someone else's trolley, when that person is looking elsewhere.

Had this similar problem in Asda the other week. Putting the trolley load of goods on the conveyor belt, found a couple of empty crisp packets and empty Ribena containers, pointed this out to the checkout girl, and it was a case of "Its okay, its happening all the time". The offending items were just binned.

Sainsburys and Asda use to have a 'Taste before you buy' policy. I note this doesn't seem to be advertised nowadays. I alway remember an incident in Asda's a few years ago, when some travellers had set up an encampment in Asda's car park.I was at the cooked hot food counter, and a group of travellers were having a nice freshly cooked chicken drumsticks/thighs mixed flavour tasting session. Felt sorry for the young assistant behind the counter, he was completely out of his depth!.

Going on a more pleasant note, I obtain my free samples from the deli or pizza counter, with the occasional in-store promotion advantages :O)

  JanetO 12:27 14 Dec 2007

The worst thing I've done is try a grape. There's nothing worse than finding at home the grapes are sour. Anything given to the kids to shut them up was declared.

I think it's a sign of the times. Maybe society's values are changing, and not necessarily for the good.

  Legolas 12:33 14 Dec 2007

The wife of a good mate of mine works in ASDA (As I did once upon a time) on the checkouts.

One day a woman came up to her and told her she wanted to return a pack of five mens briefs because they were to small for her husband, on handing them to the mates wife she noticed there was only four pairs in the packet when she mentioned this to the woman she said:

"Aye ma mans in the toilet taking the other pair off"

If I did not know my mate and his wife well I would have doubted this story but also having worked in ASDA I know the sorts if things customers get up too. It has been known for people to take a run out the door with a full trolley load of shopping without paying. You couldn't make it up.

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